New Restaurants to Try This Week: Aba, Fireman Derek's, and Rio's Tequila Bar

Miami-born Fireman Derek's Bake Shop has opened its first Broward County location in Fort Lauderdale.
Miami-born Fireman Derek's Bake Shop has opened its first Broward County location in Fort Lauderdale. Photo courtesy of Fireman Derek's Bake Shop
Miami's latest round of openings includes the Broward County expansion of Fireman Derek's Bake Shop; the debut of Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You's Mediterranean restaurant, Aba; a second location for Aventura-based FlyFuel; Ernie's Açai in Coral Gables; and Rio's Tequila Bar from the new owners of Canyon in Fort Lauderdale.

Know of any openings that aren't on our list? Email [email protected].
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Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You has opened Aba in Miami.
Photo by Ruben Cabrera


9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour

Aba, the Mediterranean establishment from Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants, has opened on the ground floor of the Bal Harbour Shops. From Top Chef alum chef/partner CJ Jacobson and executive partner Marc Jacobs, Aba's menu features a fusion of flavors from Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece with a hint of Jacobson's Californian-born-and-raised influences. Aba, which means "father" in Hebrew, is an extension of Jacobson's first restaurant, Ema, which means "mother" in Hebrew. Highlights from the menu include the carrot and sunflower dip, prepared with sunflower tahini; a torched toro toro with watermelon and crystalized Castelvetrano olives; avocado hummus with Dungeness crab; and a shawarma-spiced skirt steak. To complement the cuisine, a wine list and bar program offer picks that marry ingredients and flavors from the Mediterranean and southern California, while a cocktail menu features carefully crafted zero-proof options that use local ingredients. Daily 4 to 11 p.m.
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Ernie's Açaí is now open in Coral Gables, and serves one of the world's most expensive açaí bowls.
Photo courtesy of Ernie's Açaí

Ernie's Açai

4141 Laguna St., Coral Gables

Ernie's Açai has opened in Coral Gables, making it one of Miami's newest spots to find creative, all-organic açai bowls. Ernie's is among the first to serve its açaí via a soft serve pour with a menu that offers ten signature bowls in three sizes and four smoothies. Try the "Tropicalista," Ernie's soft-serve açaí blend topped with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, toasted coconut, almond butter drizzle, granola, and coconut oil. A variety of toppings also allows customers the opportunity to create their own bowls. Feeling fancy? Splurge on the $240 "24K Magic" bowl, considered by its creators to be the most expensive açaí bowl in the world thanks to its 24-karat gold dust and gold-flake finish. Monday through Suturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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Fireman Derek's Bake Shop is now open in Fort Lauderdale.
Photo courtesy of Fireman Derek's Bake Shop

Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop

250 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale

Pie master/entrepreneur Derek Kaplan has opened a branch of his Fireman Derek's Bake Shop in Fort Lauderdale. The one-of-a-kind Miami dessert destination has launched its second-largest shop, where cakes, pies, and savory items have their own separate display case for a customer-friendly experience. Here, Kaplan will also offer his line of hand-churned ice cream inspired by the bakery’s signature goodies while a state-of-the-art kitchen pumps out pot pies, empanadas, and cookies baked onsite. Pies and cakes are made daily at Kaplan’s Little Haiti bakery. Staying true to its Wynwood roots, the new location will retain an artsy feel, with neon signage and décor in sync with the laidback atmosphere. Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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Aventura-based FlyFuel has opened a second location in Midtown Miami.
Photo courtesy of FlyFuel


154 NE 29th St., Miami
305-894- 6936

Aventura-based FlyFuel — formerly known as Raw Republic — has opened a second location in Midtown Miami. As part of its most recent expansion, the health-focused restaurant launched several new menu items, including its take on Hailey Bieber’s viral "strawberry glaze" smoothie. In addition, the FlyFuel menu offers a variety of vegetarian and gluten-free options alongside salads, wraps, acai bowls, cauliflower pizzas, breakfast dishes, and a selection of grab-and-go items. Additional new menu items include a tuna poke bowl, a sweet ginger smoothie, and a vegan veggie pizza. Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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Rio's Tequila Bar has opened in Fort Lauderdale.
Photo courtesy of SFL Food Group

Rio's Tequila Bar

620 S. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale

SFL Food Group, the Fort Lauderdale-based hospitality group behind the rebranding of Canyon restaurant, has opened Rio’s Tequila Bar. Hidden among the tree-lined streets of Rio Vista, Rio’s Tequila Bar serves up craft cocktails, tequila flights with educational tastings, mixology classes, and globally-inspired, tapas-style bar bites. Signature cocktails include the "Smoking Gun" with blanco mezcal, walnut bitters, honey, and smoked Oak wood and the "Vida Verde" with mezcal, mint, cucumber, jalapeño, and lemon. Pair them with bar bites that include carnitas chiquitas; a "Canyon" ceviche with poached calamari, shrimp, chef’s choice fish, jalapeño, pico de gallo, citrus, and seasoned corn tortilla chips; or the masala-dusted venison skewers with blueberry serrano reduction and pickled red onion. With seating for just 25 people, Rio’s has an intimate feel and elevated ambiance alongside modern Southwest décor, and this unique hideaway gives guests the chance to sip libations while learning about the history and deep culture behind the spirits. Thursday through Saturday 5 p.m. to close.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna

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